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Your legal rights on motorcycle recalls

Ducati Panigale R
Ducati Panigale R

What are your legal rights when your motorcycle is recalled for a safety issue?

Motorcycle recalls happen frequently as faults arise after prolonged riding by customers.

In recent recalls:

  • The 2014 1199 Panigale S, 1199 Superleggera and 1199 Panigale R motorcycles were recalled in the US and only the 2014/15 1199/1299 Panigale S in Australia for for an improperly manufactured rear Ohlins shock absorber which could fall apart.
  • Suzuki has recalled its VZR800 Boulevard cruiser which has too many mounting bolts in the rear backrest which could damage the rear tyre.
  • Kawasaki’s track only supercharged H2R has just been recalled over a wiring harness problem that could cause the engine to stall or “worst case scenario, excess fuel injection which could lead to vehicle fire”.

As is typical with most recalls, the companies will notify owners and dealers will inspect and/or repair the faults free of charge.

H2R sportsbikes
Kawasaki H2R recalled

How do you know if your motorbike has been recalled?

You can either go to your national authority recall website or just keep an eye on as we publish all road bike recalls.

However, the manufacturer and/or dealer should contact you if any of their products are defective and there is a potential risk of injury to their riders and their pillions.


A notice of a recall may not occur for any number of reasons. One of those reasons is if the owner has recently moved and the notice has been sent to an old address, or the motorbike has been sold to another rider who becomes unaware of a notice.

It is important that motorcycle riders recognise that for their own safety and that of their pillions that they should take the time to check in on any recalls to their bikes.

To check for motorcycle recall information, click on these online sites

What do I do if my bike is listed?

In most cases, a government regulator or complaints investigation will not occur until you have tried to resolve the situation with the supplier first. The supplier may offer a full refund, a suitable replacement product of the same value or a modification or repair of the product.

If the supplier is unable to assist you then you are entitled to lodge a complaint with ACCC (in Australia) or the relevant consumer protection authority in your state or country. If the defect causes an injury then you should consider contacting a lawyer who is also an accredited specialist in personal injury to help protect your legal interests.

What happens if I have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a defective product?

The first thing you should do if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident is to obtain medical assistance for yourself and/or your pillion passenger.

Motorcycle lawyer Tina Davis - Motorcycle Recalls
Motorcycle lawyer Tina Davis and husband Richard

Motorcycle lawyer Tina Davis of East Coast Lawyers says says riders should seek legal advice as soon as possible after the accident. The reason is because a defect can be hard to prove and evidence will need to be obtained as soon as possible.

“Potential liability can arise in many aspects of a product besides just its design or construction,” she says.

“Some riders may have been given improper instructions or warnings about the handling of their motorcycle. Defects can also arise due to the negligence of a mechanic or any other professional who improperly services your vehicle.”

Tina and her husband, Richard, will be riding along the coast of Croatia later this year. If you have any questions about your legal rights, you can email Tina or contact her at 1300 720 544.

  • Written in conjunction with Bond University legal student Kristoffer Ryan Famaran Diocampo who has a strong interest in individual rights under both Canadian and Australian law. In particular, he wishes to address the issues concerning the VLAD laws in Queensland as well as legal rights for motorbike riders affected by another driver’s negligence.
  1. Excellent advice from a very clued in lawyer. “Tina Davis”. It is good to see East Coast Lawyers have experienced lawyers who have a legal understanding of bikes and bikers interests. In my opinion, not many legal entities are prepared to take on this sphere of litigation, probably because they have never ridden a modern motorcycle. Well Done East Coast Lawyers.

  2. I have a MV Augusta 920 Brutale purchased in 2012. Since then I have had a replacement radiator in 2013 2014 & 2015. It hasn’t had a recall on it but the radiator gives out approximately ever 6,000 – 8,000 Kms.
    The last radiator was only covered under Parts warranty; not full Manufacturer warranty; which meant I had to cover the full cost of transport and labour. I do not trust to go long range touring, do I have any legal rights?

    1. Hi Vanna,
      That’s a difficult question.
      It depends if your state has “lemon laws”.
      The best thing is to contact the Office of Fair Trade in your state and make a formal complaint.
      Please keep us updated on your progress.
      Cheers and good luck,

    2. Hi Vanna,

      My name is Kris and I am a J.D. law student in Queensland, Australia.

      Have you already looked into your legal issue? Where are you residing?

      If you haven’t solved it yet, I would be happy to do a little bit of legal research for you to give you an idea of any potential legal rights you may have for a defective motorcycle.

      I spoke briefly with a legal colleague and I came up with this answer:

      In Australia, defects in a product fall under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The ACL gives a guarantee to consumers that products (including their separate parts) will be of ‘acceptable’ quality.

      ‘Acceptable’ may be treated as a broad term but generally means that they must be safe, reasonably reliable and perform all of their functions that a reasonable person would expect them to do.

      Your manufacturer warranty is added protection on top of the ACL guarantees in Australia. However, the ACL applies no matter what the warranty stipulates.

      I agree with Mark that the office of Fair Trade is a good place to start.

      If you have any other questions on this issue, I’d be happy to help.

      Kristoffer R. D.
      Bond University J.D. Student
      Queensland, Australia

      The information provided by this post is for general information only and should not be considered as legal advice. Any feedback from the author on this forum is only meant to encourage discussion, general learning and resource sharing. The material posted is hypothetical and may not apply to your specific case. This input is not an alternative to proper legal advice from a lawyer.

      The complexity of a claim and any legal work requires the services of a legal professional in your state.

  3. my suzuki gw 250 which was a 2013 model i got new in 2014 i got a recall and i had a talk with my shop a suzuki dealer close to my house i was told the part which is the rear brake light swicth which may fail the local where house has non in stock this may take a few days or a week can i ask for money for damages as now i am in fear the part may fail thank you JAY

  4. I have a 2003 yamaha r6 and it has 18k miles last week I was riding and it shut off completely with no notice while in a curve at 60mph and come to find out with a little research that it had a recall on the ignition coils and the sprocket nut which I am less concerned about I’m concered about my safety on this bike now and feel yamaha should be responsible after they already claimed to be at fault for this issue so I’m stuck wondering,what to do next

  5. hi i bought a suzuki scooter 110 wich has a recall for a nut that was left loosen the variator and destroyed the variator and damaged the crankshaft , now they said that they won’t cover the damaged because the bike wasn’t serviced with them .
    is there anything i can do

    1. Hi Sebastian,
      It depends where you live and what laws cover you.
      While recall notices all require you to go to an authorised dealer for the fix, the ACCC says you can still be covered by a non-authorised service provider, so long as they use the right parts.
      I’d contact the ACCC and/or Fair Trade in your state and/or a lawyer.

  6. I have a 2018 scout bobber .It has a recall on the brake brake system which has air in the system .Indian will fix the problem as long as it goes to a certified Indian dealership . if live 800 miles away from a Indian dealership .my question is Indian liable to pay the shipping of my bike to get fixed it will cost me 1200.00 dollars return to ship fora 30 min fix

  7. In January I was sold a 2018 Yamaha Mt07. I just brought it to the dealer for 500 mile service last Friday. They told me the bike was ready a Monday but they were waiting on recall parts for a chain guard. The recall was for August of 2018, and it’s a brand new bike. This is my only mode of transportation, can I demand a loaner? What are my rights in this situation? They let me take a bike that had an open recall on it and ride it for 2 months and now been stuck bumming rides to work for the past week.

    1. Hi J,
      You do have rights in this situation and could take it to Fair Trade.
      However, by the time they get around to doing anything, the bike would most likely be fixed!
      I would firmly but politely suggest to the dealer that if they want any repeat business, they should give you a loaner bike.
      Tell them you can easily find another Yamaha dealer or private mechanic to service your bike.
      As for the recall, that is a public notice, so you have no leg to stand on saying you didn’t know about it. But common courtesy tells you they should have advised you before buying.
      If they don’t supply a bike, name and shame them!

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